SCOTUS Dismisses Trump Emoluments Suits | Biden’s Solicitor General Faces Sticky Situation
January 25, 2021
MOOT ON A MONDAY|
Today the Supreme Court threw out two lawsuits claiming former PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP illegally profited off of his presidency and violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving financial benefits from states or foreign officials. The justices directed the suits to be dismissed as moot now that Trump is no longer in office.
THE PLOT THICKENS|
Jess Bravin and Sadie Gurman with The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that former PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP considered replacing the acting attorney general to pursue the unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask SCOTUS to invalidate PRESIDENT BIDEN’S victory. A former administration official told the WSJ, “He wanted us, the United States, to sue one or more of the states directly in the Supreme Court.” And when the SCOTUS plan didn’t pan out, Trump tried replacing JEFFREY ROSEN with an ally, JEFFREY CLARK, who had “expressed a willingness to use the department’s power to help the former president continue his unsuccessful legal battles contesting the election results.”
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE|
“The Biden administration faces some tough choices in the coming weeks over how it should deal with the Supreme Court. The justices have already heard arguments or agreed to hear them in more than 60 cases this term. In most of these cases, the Trump administration has already taken a position on behalf of the U.S. government. While the Biden administration may oppose many of the Trump positions, it knows that the justices do not look kindly on the government flip-flopping.” That’s Nina Totenberg with NPR writing that although the solicitor’s general office is usually insulated from politics, under Trump it was forced to engage in “some seriously norm-bending behavior.” And now the solicitor general’s office under Biden will have to decide how best to move forward from here.
KID GLOVES ARE OFF|
Ariane de Vogue with CNN reports on what will happen at SCOTUS now that DONALD TRUMP is out of office. She explains, “While much has changed in Washington, one thing remains the same: the composition of the court — thanks to Trump — is now split 6-3 along ideological lines. There will always be a significant number of unanimous cases, and other instances where strange bedfellows break expectations. But in the cases that most grab the public’s attention down the road, including abortion, immigration, affirmative action and voting rights, the conservatives are likely to unite and treat the Biden administration very differently than they did the Trump administration.”
SCOTUS VIEWSUSA Today
“Millions of Americans today are afraid to express their opinions on matters of public importance. A summer poll by the Cato Institute found that 62% of Americans were afraid to reveal their opinions; nearly one-third (32%) of employed Americans feared that they would lose their job or miss out on career opportunities if their views became known. Out of fear of harassment or social banishment, many donors to certain causes prefer to make their gifts anonymously. Unfortunately, some politicians today want to require charities to turn over their donor lists to the state.”The Washington Post
“It is difficult to overstate the harm four years of Trump’s judicial appointments caused. Many of the 234 federal judges Trump installed in lifetime jobs are dangerous ideologues who were confirmed despite long records of hostility to civil rights. Although it is true that Trump appointees held the line on overturning the 2020 presidential election, many of his appellate judges, for example, have issued extremist decisions decidedly to the right of the conservativism reflected in appointments by past Republican presidents.”The Hill
“Can Wisconsin require that able-bodied and childless adults work, or engage in work-related activities, as a condition of receiving BadgerCare benefits? The U.S. Supreme Court likely will answer that question when it decides Azar v. Gresham later this term.”
OTHER NEWSThe Associated Press
“A rural Nevada church wants the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a legal battle over the government’s authority to limit the size of religious gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic even after the church won an appeals court ruling that found Nevada’s restrictions unconstitutional. Attorneys general from 19 other states recently joined the Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley near Reno in urging the Supreme Court to rule on the merits of the Nevada case to help bring uniformity to various standards courts across the country have used to balance the interests of public safety and freedom of religion.”